IW Best Plants Profile - 1993

Johnson & Johnson Medical Incorporated's 1993 Best Plants award-winning Artcraft facility in El Paso is run on the basis of respect between salaried and hourly workers and four critical success factors: customer-driven quality, fast and flexible processes, lowest cost, and total associate involvement.

Artcraft and its three Mexican assembly plants truly have flexible manufacturing systems. Thousands of square feet of workstations can be easily reconfigured.

Flowcharts documenting waste, costs, defect rates by shift and product line, and other information are visible everywhere. "Every associate on the border understands that our goal is to be the lowest-cost producer in our product line," stresses Jack Morrison, Artcraft plant manager. "You won't get a second chance if you lose a customer."

A cross-functional, value-analysis team brings in customers, such as nurses and doctors, to determine customer needs. "In some cases, we have gone to hospitals to watch surgeries in progress to determine how our products are used, how they need to be folded, how they must be in the right sequence so that everything can remain sterile," says Tim Thomas, director of quality assurance for the border operations. The facility also completed some 35 benchmarking projects between 1990 and 1993.

On both sides of the border, J&J facilities are socially responsible. Artcraft sponsors at-risk students, and for the past six years Mexican employees have rehabilitated a school each year.

Johnson & Johnson Medical, Inc.

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